Sunday, 18 November 2007

"Hortopita" Lasagne

I have found wheat-free lasagne noodles I can eat, which means that I can make hortopita - sort of. Hortopita is spanakopita's more rustic cousin; basically the same recipe with sturdier greens such as kale and chard instead of, or augmenting, the better-known spinach. And of course, usually wrapped in filo or bread dough. I have aimed to make a creamier filling than would go into hortopita, as after all, this is lasagne too. This is very "greeny" - you could probably get away with one bunch each of chard and kale.

And a shout-out to Presto Pasta Nights with Ruth at Once Upon a Feast.

8 servings
1 hour 15 minutes - 30 minutes prep time

Hortopita Lasagne

Hortopita Lasagna1 bunch kale
1 bunch chard
1 bunch spinach, or a second bunch of chard or other greens

15 lasagna noodles

1 bunch green onions
OR 1 large leek and a little oil
500 grams pressed cottage cheese
OR ricotta cheese
100 grams feta cheese
2 tablespoons dried dillweed
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons dried chives
6 eggs
2 cups milk or light cream

200 grams grated cheddar

Wash the greens, pick them over, and strip them from the tough stems, which should be discards. Coarsely chop the greens and steam them until well wilted but no more. Rinse them under cold water until they are cool enough to handle, then squeeze them to remove any excess liquid in them.

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the lasagna noodles.

Meanwhile, chop the cooked greens fairly finely, and put them in a large bowl. If you can find green onions, they can be finely chopped and added. If you have missed their season, a leek is good substitute, but it should be well cleaned, chopped and sautéed in a spoonful of oil until soft before being added to the rest of the greens. Mix in the crumbled cheeses, the herbs, the eggs and the milk or cream.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cook the lasagna noodles until half cooked - they should be easily pliable, but definitely not done like pasta you would eat at once. Rinse them in cold water to keep them from sticking to each other.

Put some of the filling mixture - about 1/6 of it to be precise - into the bottom of a large lasagne dish. Spread it as evenly over the bottom of the dish as you can. Cover it with 5 noodles. Put 1/3 of the original total of the filling over the noodles, and spread that around as evenly as you can. Five more noodles, another 1/3 of the original amount of filling and 5 more noodles on top of that means you are almost done. You should have about 1/6 of the original filling amount left, and that gets spread over the top layer of noodles then sprinkled evenly with the grated cheddar cheese.

Cover the lasagne with foil, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Let the lasagne rest for about 5 minutes once it comes out of the oven before serving.


Peter M said...

Ferzdy, you're stumping a Greek...I've never heard of Hortopita but I'm intrigued and I like it!

Ferdzy said...

Really? I'm pretty sure I didn't make it up - how could I? - maybe you should ask your mom!

Ruth Daniels said...

Greek or not, it sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Bellini Valli said...

Ferdzy...I can't believe I have missed so many of your posts. I am just catching ip now. This lasagna looks excellent with all its wonderful Greek flavours. It warms my "pseudo-Greek" heart!!!